CT-scans of capsules from the Clarno Formation (Oregon, USA) reveal an extinct Eocene theaceous taxon
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Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-7800, USA
Online publication date: 2020-12-03
Publication date: 2020-12-30
Acta Palaeobotanica 2020; 60(2): 251–258
The economically important but relatively small family Theaceae can be traced back to the Late Cretaceous and is found today in the Western Hemisphere and Asia. Theaceous fruits are generally loculicidal capsules and have been found as fossils throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Using reflected light and μCT-scanning, we recognize Anubiscarpon andersonae MA Smith et Manchester gen. et sp. nov. from the middle Eocene Clarno Formation of north central Oregon, based on five-valved, loculicidal capsules with a central columella, persistent perianth and pedicel, preserved as impressions in lacustrine shale. Its most distinctive feature is its apically clefted valves which are not seen in any other species of the family. Anubiscarpon augments our understanding of former morphological diversity in the Theaceae.